MT ” Architecture as an active medicine”

Nowadays there is a broad consensus among healthcare professionals and architects that hospitals’ building typology is of significance for provided healthcare and my master thesis adherers to this standpoint. The overall aim of this master thesis is to move beyond the idea of the hospital as a building whose structural logic is dominated by medical procedures needs and technological dependency, and to propose a design solution which unifies the three main constituents of the hospital: people seeking healthcare (social aspect), new trends and innovation in medical field (technological aspect) and shrinking facilities (structure aspect). It attempts to deliver a functional ward’s design being all users’ friendly, supporting flexibility and transparency of procedures, safe, inspiring and motivating care treatments. Thus it is set to explore and to account for the connections between the technicality of physical environment and the sensitivity of the healthcare services. Architecture and design are in focus for this study, as they are considered to have a positive effect over the users, their actions and interactions. The insights gained in the course of this study shed light on those architectural design aspects which can contribute to and complement the healing process.

To approach the subject, two correlated topics are taken into consideration and discussed. The first one concerns social understanding of hospitals as places for healing, whose design and surroundings can ease pain and support recovery. This topic is based on research and studies on Person Centered Care practices and Evidence Based Design principles. The second one concerns an evaluation of hospital architecture, as a functional, performance driven structure. It aims at understanding the impact and effects of architecture with respect to the professional space syntax and social relationships. Based on both, a hospital ward design is delivered which allows the architectural elements and design aesthetics to become active part of the healing environment, supporting and promoting person centered care.

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